The Important Conversation: How Can We Improve Athletes’ Mental Health?

Mental health is a growing issue around athletes of all levels. Despite this, the mental health struggles among athletes seem to be a taboo topic that no one wants to be a part of in the discussion. Stress, pressure, stigmas, and more prevent athletes from talking about mental health. Let’s work to change that.

In this episode of the Live Your Personal Best podcast, I talk about my mental health journey during the competition and my thoughts regarding the many mental health issues that many athletes are experiencing today.

Listen to this podcast, and together, let’s fight the stigma revolving around mental health issues among athletes, especially during these trying times.

Episode Timeline

[1:46] Emily shares the rationale and context of this podcast episode

[3:28] Emily explains why athletes can struggle with talking about mental health.

[5:08] Emily talks about why mental health issues among athletes are close to her heart.

[5:55] Emily reads a snippet of Harry Miller’s statement regarding his retirement and shares her thoughts.

[7:57] Emily describes her experience working for a suicide prevention hotline.

[9:02] Emily reads a poem that tackles mental health.

[10:14] Emily shares some things that she’s currently doing to improve her mental health.

Key Takeaways

  • There’s no need to blame someone or something regarding athletes’ current mental health issues. It’s a systemic problem that needs to be resolved by different stakeholders involved.
  • It’s a hard decision for athletes to take a step back to prioritize their mental health.
  • It could benefit our mental health if we acknowledged that more things are a struggle.
  • Talking more explicitly about our mental health can also improve your well-being in general.
  • Take inventory of the expectations and pressures that you put on yourself.


Mental health for athletes is a huge problem that rarely gets addressed if ever it gets addressed. – Emily [2:50]

Be more purposeful with checking in on mental health. – Emily [14:31]

About the Host, Emily Coffman
About the Host, Emily Coffman

Emily Coffman is the fastest-growing advocate for athlete wellness in life after sport. She is a former NCAA Division I Athlete at the University of Oklahoma in rowing.

Now, she is the creator of the top 1% health and fitness podcast, Live Your Personal Best which has over a quarter of a million downloads and best-selling author of Elite to Everyday Athlete.

Her research and focus on the health of athletes after they leave the field, has led her to become one of the leading experts for athletes to learn how to live a healthy life, enjoy working out, and find their new love of sport.